The “Excellent Adventure” continues…

Let me start with a bit of ‘housekeeping’.  This is not, and likely never will be, a daily blog.  I’m still working on an editorial calendar and am vacillating between weekly or twice weekly posts.  Here in the beginning, I’m posting more often learning the ‘feel’ of writing these posts, and learning how to use WordPress.  While the learning process continues, the posts will be a bit more frequent.  More on that below.

In my first post, I introduced myself as a ‘wanna-be’ writer.  My very first reader gently suggested that someone who writes is a writer, published or not.  My next post both agreed and disagreed with her.

(I know that I should have links in the previous paragraph to the posts referenced.  However, I have not yet figured out how to do that, so I have to hope you are sufficiently curious to scroll down to the posts.)

I ended my last post by saying if I added several thousand words to my novel, or submitted a short story for publication, I would proudly announce “I am a writer!”

“But”, you object, “what about the writing you are doing here on this blog?  Isn’t this ‘writing’?  Doesn’t blogging count as ‘writing’?  Yes, absolutely it does — and no, it doesn’t.

Every writer must define what ‘writing’ means to them.  If you are a poet, writing a poem is ‘writing’.  If you are a novelist, then working on your novel is ‘writing’.  If you write non-fiction, then completing an article on quilting or beekeeping or parenting is ‘writing’.  If you are a blogger, posting a blog is ‘writing’.  Some writers combine two or more of these efforts.  For that writer, posting a blog is equally ‘writing’ as completing a new haiku.  Each of us knows when we are ‘writing’, and when we are avoiding actually planting our behind in our seat and writing.

I write fiction in several genres and every thing from flash fiction to novel length.  For more than a year, I have been avoiding actually writing.  I have re-read almost everything I have written over the past years, often several times.  I have read dozens of books and articles on the craft of writing.  I have talked ad nauseam about writing and my writing in particular.  I have read blogs on writing, publishing, and marketing that which you publish.  And now I have begun a blog.  What I have not done is submit a story to an editor for publication, drafted a new short story, or completed a novel.

In my own defense, beginning this blog is part of a relatively well-planned return to ‘writing’ as I define it for myself.  I am clearing my desk and rearranging my calendar to include scheduled writing times.  With this blog, I am again becoming accustomed to sitting at my keyboard and putting words on the screen, if not paper.  This blog is part of developing that all important “author’s platform” which is crucial to the success of any would-be writer, according to many of the blogs, articles, and books I have been reading when I should have been writing.

OK.  For me, and only for me, this blog is not ‘writing’.  But it is a significant step in my return to actually sitting down and doing what I now realize I need to do — write!   And, it may well become ‘writing’ for me as time passes.  That, however, will only happen after I submit a few short stories and make significant progress on the novels-in-progress on my desk.  For now, this blog is a “warm-up” exercise to my fiction writing.

For you, blogging may well be ‘writing’.  If it is, I commend and congratulate you, assuming that you are actually posting to your blog and not just reading about blogging and talking about it.  If you are writing non-fiction articles on parenting and blogging on a regular basis, I respect and admire your efforts.  If you are working on a novel and blogging routinely, I am seeking to emulate you.

I would enjoy hearing your thoughts on what you consider ‘writing’.

14 thoughts on “The “Excellent Adventure” continues…

  1. I agree blog somewhat frequently to get the feel. I was introduced to wordpress when I was the poetry editor of MaMaZinA. There I was scheduled to blog once a month. Every time I logged into wordpress to blog, it seems they changed the formatting. I started my personal blog about three years ago and it is so much easier to post now. I try to post at least 4 times a month.

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  2. I currently describe myself as an “occasional writer.” I write news releases for church activities, have dabbled in short stories and poems (most non-published), articles about local history (published), and am now deep into writing my first full-length book: a biography (or maybe it will be an historical novel) about one of my great-grandfathers. And I’m enjoying the chance to write more about my favorite topics on my website/blog. So maybe my writing is becoming more than “occasional,” now that I’m retired and have more control over my daily schedule.

    I’m curious about the subjects you write about. Now that I’m following your blog, I hope to find out! And I’m a newbie with WordPress, too. It’s slowly making more sense, one step at a time. Kudos to you for keeping at it!

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  3. Hello Jay,

    I certainly can empathize with you. I have been ‘writing’ for years, but I never could call myself a writer until I had a book published this year. It didn’t seem like the title fit. Many other titles did, but not that one. Now, I am strugglling with the other aspect of writing which is marketing your book. My publisher is small and not very active in this respect, so it is left up to me. Your description of setting up your blog made me smile, because I went through the same thing. I am still not very proficient. The whole Twitter, Facebook, social media thing is time-consuming and a constant distraction, but evidently it is necessary. Unfortunately, it makes it difficult to keep your butt on the chair doing what you really want to do – write. Good luck, and I will be following your blog from now on.

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  4. Excellent blog post, Jay!
    First, let me say that you have learned to use WordPress much better, and much quicker, than I have. You have a profile pic, and the link to your “about” and your “contact” at the top of your blog. I haven’t even managed that!
    I enjoyed the content of this post, too. I agree, each writer must define for him or her self what is actual writing, and what is just avoiding the task. I am very familiar with avoiding the task!
    I will be back to see how you progress with your writing journey! Best of luck!
    https://margetesch.wordpress.com/

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  5. When I tell people I’m a writer, the first thing they do is ask, “what have you published?” My answer is always the same, “a writer is an individual who is searching for an audience. An author is a writer who has an audience.” I’ve never been published but I write – for the most part – every day. If I go too long without writing, I actually suffer withdrawal symptoms. I’m cranky, jumpy & short-tempered. I daydream about my work-in-progress as well as other works I’d like to start. You might be a writer if any of these characteristics describe you.

    Best of luck to you!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, and for taking time to drop me a note. I relate well to the ‘withdrawal symptoms’ you mentioned. As I get back into actually making keystrokes and seeing words appear on the screen again, the symptoms are beginning to lessen. I even have a smile on my face at the moment! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. My question is: If you consider what you’ve written above to be non-writing, how will you ever consider anything you put down to be real writing? Are you going to wait until you have a best-seller? Sorry to inform you of this, but It’s too late. You’re already a writer. And a good one, at that.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, and a very big thank you for the kind words. No, I don’t need a best-seller, but I do need to spend time with my first love — writing fiction. Novels, short stories, flash fiction in several genres. Though I am enjoying learning this ‘blog thingy’, my passion is my fiction. I hope to see you here again soon.

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  7. I don’t really define the writing I do on social media to be “writing”. For me, writing – real writing – is when I’m working on short stories for my portfolio or working on a novel. Especially working on a novel – that’s where the real bliss and frustration of the craft lies.

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  8. Jay, I too, am struggling to learn about this blogging world! There is so much to implement. Just wrapping my head around all the “things” you can add and do to make your blog stand out has put me on information overload. I admire your writing and enjoy the message you convey each time you post something.
    I’m in the process of submitting queries to agents for my memoir and it has been interesting to say the least! Lord willing at some point in my lifetime, it might become a reality to have it published. 🙂 If you’ve finished something and feel it’s ready, go for it!
    I was told I needed a platform too, and just like you, I’ve read many books, websites, etc., all saying the same thing. So here we are all of us in Blogging101 trying to accomplish similar goals.
    All the best my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Linda. Thanks for stopping by. Yes, I fully understand ‘information overload’. Thank you for your very kind comments. Given your kind of determination, I suspect you will find an outlet for your memoir soon enough. Keep on keeping on! 😉

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